Technology's Role in Wal-Mart's Success

Essay by ajsudsUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2007

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TechnologyWal-Mart Stores, Inc. has continued to lead the retail industry year after year, and technology plays an important role in Wal-Mart's success. From the very beginning Sam Walton wanted to know what inventory was selling, what stock was not selling, and to what the customers purchased. This pioneer of the retail arena was an early adopter of technology that electronically linked stores with suppliers. By adopting cutting-edge technology to track shopper habits, and to buy and deliver goods more efficiently and cheaply to the consumer, their success is unrivaled. Wal-Mart suppliers are required to use mandated technology solutions, such as ASN (advance ship notice), Wal-Mart Barcode Reading, Barcode Scanning, Global Data Synchronization through 1Sync, and Wal-Mart RFID (radio frequency identification) technology (Wal-Mart RFID & Wal-Mart EDI Guide, 2007). Wal-Mart can instantaneously track the shipment, delivery, and ordering of every item it sells.

Planning for the future has been a key to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s ability to stay on top.

With the invention of the tracking and identification system, called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has exerted control over their entire inventory and enables the workers to identify and locate merchandise more readily for the customers (Wal-Mart RFID & Wal-Mart EDI Guide, 2007). E-Commerce has increased the ease of purchasing for consumers. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a web site that allows for the ease and convenience of purchasing almost every item in the store over the Internet.

Sam Walton was a leader to be revered and admired. More than 20 years ago one of his subordinates proposed a $24-million investment to put a satellite network in place, in order to enable Sam Walton to keep in touch with his rapidly expanding business. At that time, Sam insisted on visiting every store personally. However, with the growing number...